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The 2020 Mercedes F1 Car Explained!

The 2020 Mercedes F1 Car Explained!

One of the really lovely things
about working as an engineer in Formula One is that every season
casts up its own challenges. Last year in 2019, the challenge
was how to cope with the breath-taking headlong rush of figuring out how
to reinvent the front corner aerodynamics after a very late change in the regulations.
In 2021, a completely different challenge awaits us, where a completely new set of
regulations is going to arrive and where we have the terrifying and yet
exhilarating thrill of picking our way through virgin design space,
trying to avoid the man traps and seeking the treasure that is hidden
within those regulations. And this year, 2020, a completely different set of
challenges all over again. The challenge being, in a year where the regulations
are completely stable and where the tyres haven’t changed one little
bit, how do we take last year’s best car, the 2019 Mercedes car, how do we
take that car and produce something properly competitive when the regulations
haven’t changed. The temptation for us was just to keep polishing that one,
after all it finished the season really strongly and it was developing very fast
all the way through the year, so there was still lots of opportunity to make
that one quicker. That conservative approach was very, very tempting.
But in the end, we decided that wouldn’t be enough. We were feeling
the breath of our opponents on our shoulders. We know their hunger and we know
that if we don’t do something impressive with this car, they will eat us up and
leave us behind. So, we decided that we would make a car that was
aggressive. Despite the fact that there is no change in the regulations,
we would take every part of the car and see if we could challenge ourselves
to make it better. And I can’t do justice in a short piece like this to all the hundreds
of things we have done, but I’ll tell you some stuff about the front, the middle
and the back of this car, the areas in which we have invested to try to give
us an opportunity both to hit the ground in Melbourne with a car
that is a big step forward, and also to have a platform that will keep developing
strongly through the year. So, at the front first of all, at the front we have
changed a lot of the structure of the front corners. We have made it much
harder for ourselves structurally, much harder to take the forces, but we
have rearranged the detail inside the wheels and in the way the suspension
goes into those wheels so that we have more aerodynamic opportunity in the
front end. A difficult project but one which has given us good aerodynamic gains.
In the middle of the car, a couple of things. First of all, something which is pretty
familiar to the sport, because actually many teams have already adopted this.
And that is we have moved the side impact structure from its upper position
that we have had for the last three seasons, we have moved it to a
lower position here. Something which many teams have already done and
something which we have been watching on from afar, but this year we decided
to make the structural investment to pull that into our car and to bank the
aerodynamic gain that comes with it. Also, in the middle of the car, a huge,
huge effort gone in by HPP to put more performance into the PU.
They have managed to have a really good winter, finding lots and lots of
fresh horses from this Power Unit, many years into a regulation with
fixed fuel flow, this year they have managed to find a really impressive
upgrade in the power. Not just more horsepower. They have also for the
third year straight bent over backwards to give us a Power Unit that gives
opportunities on the chassis side to develop better aerodynamics.
Because they have put a lot of work in to make it so that this Power Unit
can operate at elevated temperatures compared to the previous year. Being
able to run hotter means that for the same everything else, we can make
smaller radiators in the car and keep the car cool. One of the reasons
why this car is even slimmer than the ones that we have seen in
previous seasons. Last year’s chassis would have stuck way out the side of this
bodywork, but this year’s one, narrower still, as a result of the investments that HPP made on our behalf in their Power Unit.
And then finally at the back of the car, probably in these camera shots, because
we are a little bit coy about it, you’re not going to see all the detail, but I can
tell you that the rear suspension on this car is extremely adventurous.
We have put into the back, specifically on the lower rear wishbone, we have
put a new geometry in there, a new geometry that gives us more
aerodynamic opportunity, allows us to get more downforce on the car. Taken
together, all these investments that I have been describing, none of them are easy and
nearly all of them are a structural compromise where we have had to put weight on the front,
in the middle and at the back of the car in order to realise these gains and that
weight has had to be paid for by hundreds and hundreds and hundreds
of small innovations by other designers who have managed to save the weight
that’s allowed us to buy each of these investments. But these investments
have given us a good winter. We have got a car here that is streaks
ahead of that one in terms of downforce. We have got a car here whose development
slope has kicked up, is steeper than the one that we finished last year’s with, in
that very, very good car from 2019. And we’ve got a car here that we hope will be fertile ground to develop strongly all the
way through the 2020 season.

Reader Comments

  1. A part of me wishes the regulations stayed stable for another couple of years just to see how much this team can push the envelope. Amazing!

  2. Nice video but not much given away (understandably). Upgraded power unit designed to be able to handle higher temps is interesting. Let's see if it works…

  3. you gotta admit, the fact that they have an engine that can handle a higher temp window is one of, if not THE biggest gain Mercedes could have gotten for this year.

  4. The strive to be number 1 is so dynamic. Im in awe in how the team innovates and adapts. My work mantra is F1 mentality

  5. I do think that next years regulations will change the style of Mercedes and it won't be long before Red Bull or Renault and Racing to catch up. Give it 3 years.

  6. Mercedes are by far the strongest organization in F1 – the very fact they are explaining where their investments at the car level are going in a youtube explainer video (before the start of the season) is the ultimate mic drop. I worry about the sport if they dominate again this year.

  7. I hope the big wigs at F1 are paying attention…this is how you keep fans, and create new ones!

    Make the cars and the sport accessible and interesting.

    Thank you Mercedes.

  8. They already won.

    Other cars will finish a minute behind with this rule breaking Innovation. Yes, it changes the active suspension system of the car.

    It allows the tires to be managed much more easily than any other team.

    While other teams have to cool down, save tyres, and drive slowly, Mercedes FIA will simply straighten the tyres and remove all extra friction during straights.

    It will be more powerful than DRS, and it has ruined the season. Well, not for Mercedes.
    Remember I said it.

  9. Congratulations on winning the 2020 championships. I'll still watch the races though since I have nothing better to do.

  10. Everyone jokes that Ferrari are taking notes from this, but he didn't actually reveal anything specific about the car beyond the obvious that anyone would already know.

  11. After DAS is ruled to be illegal, will you do an in depth breakdown of how the system works? I'm fascinated by engineering ideas like this.

  12. Hello this ISNT Ferrari. We would like to know if you would kindly let a certain red team win a few races. Ok thank you

  13. Great video!! Would be good to find out more about the suspension setup. There are so many videos on the DAS but not much on the new rear suspension. Cant wait to find out more. From what I understand, they have mounted the top wishbone in a regular 'high' position, but the lower wishbone is mounted high (and houses the drive shaft) and connects to the gearbox/rear crash structure further rear than normal.

  14. I am a big team merc and hamilton fan, but I have to say it, the warped PETRONAS logo on the side looks so tacky & lame. It looks like a graphic artist was told "work it in there, they gave us money, just paste it on there" -for your own dignity, you guys can do better…

  15. Why do they have to change the regulations every year. They’re worried about teams spending so much money but they make radical change every year that cost millions to implement

  16. Frightening competitors enough to don't develop this year car.. so Mercedes can win "easily" while moving their assets to the next year car too 😂

  17. "we have the terrifying and yet exhilarating thrill of picking our way through virgin design space, trying to avoid the man traps and seeking the treasure that is hidden within those regulations"

    I see what you did there Mercedes-AMG Petronas 😂

  18. In Brasil the name of the explanation is "inrolation " the real things can make bigger diferemce him dont told 😅😅😅😅

  19. Does anyone know how the Pirelli logo on the tires are so perfectly aligned / "right side up?"
    Do they really jack up the car in position and then put the wheel on for the video?

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